09/05/2013 Schools, national sporting bodies to hold minute’s silence for those lost during Great Famine

Schools, national sporting bodies to hold minute’s silence for those lost during Great Famine

(Thursday 9th May 2013), Jimmy Deenihan TD, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and Chair of the National Famine Commemoration Committee, thanked all schools around the country who plan to hold one minute’s silent reflection tomorrow, Friday, 10th May 2013.

Minister Deenihan has also asked national sporting organisations to hold a minute of silent reflection at public events across the country on Sunday 12th May 2013. These gestures are taking place as a mark of respect and acknowledgement for those that died or suffered loss in the Great Irish Famine.

Students in all primary and secondary schools have been asked to pause for one minute at noon on Friday May 10th 2013 to reflect on the loss of the Great Famine and contemplate famine and hunger worldwide.

Minister Deenihan said: “The support schools show for this initiative is remarkable. Each year they have taken part in a minute of silent reflection and this year they continue to show their respect for all those who suffered during the famine. I want also to acknowledge all the sporting organisations planning to take part in the minute’s silence to mark this year’s National Famine Commemoration and I would urge others to consider taking part if possible.  Irish culture and history is intertwined with sport, therefore I believe holding a minute of silent reflection at an event will show our respect and acknowledgement of the hardship people endured.

“By taking this time to remember our own history of famine we can also raise awareness of hunger issues around the world.  The devastation caused by the famine in Ireland has shaped our attitude to famine experienced in the world today and Ireland remains deeply committed to providing humanitarian relief to those in need. Our strong commitment to providing humanitarian aid for countries currently experiencing hunger crisis shows our understanding and empathy for current situations worldwide”

He continued, “In memory of those who suffered during the Famine, through loss of life, loss of family and loss of home, I would like to thank you most sincerely for your support, your respect and silent reflection”.

The 2013 National Famine Commemoration is being held on Sunday, 12th May in Kilrush, Co Clare and members of the public are invited to attend the ceremony which includes a formal State ceremony as well as a community element.  The International Commemoration of the Great Irish Famine will take place in Sydney on Sunday, 25th August.

A full ten-day programme of events leading up to the National Famine Commemoration began in Kilrush on Friday 3rd May 2013.  This includes a series of lectures, walks, tours, re-enactments, theatre, music, exhibitions and local commemoration ceremonies.  There will be no cover charge for any of the events and donation boxes for charities currently fighting famine around the world will be located at some venues.

The events will recall the impact of the Great Famine on the people and the landscape of the Kilrush Poor Law Union.  Further information can be found on Kilrush Town Council’s website:


Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, 23 Kildare Street, Dublin , D02 TD30. Tel: 01 631 3800 / LoCall: 1890 383 000

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